AT&T® is currently in the process of developing an edge computing test zone in Palo Alto, California. This will provide an excellent platform for developers and tech companies to undertake the testing of newer technologies like augmented reality, self-driving cars, drones, and virtual reality. This testing platform is expected to become functional in early 2018 and will initially utilize a 4G LTE connection. AT&T® expects to upgrade it to the more advanced 5G networks after all the final standards and equipment is set.
Melissa Arnoldi, the President of AT&T® Technology and Operations said, “Edge computing is the next step in the evolution of the network. As connectivity becomes ubiquitous and fast, it also needs to become smart. Edge computing puts a supercomputer in your pocket, on your wrist, in your car, and right in front of your eyes.”
Edge computing also known as multi-access edge computing (MEC) has attained a renewed importance. It has been proven as an effective way to minimize the distance of travel for data processing that will minimize latency and thus enhance the performance of the network. Most of the networks operating today suffer from high latency due to the increased physical distance between the user and the data center. With edge computing, the data processing is moved much closer to the user.
For this, AT&T® one of the best internet service will install numerous graphics processors and computers in the cellular towers, small cells, and other major components of the network. This will minimize latency largely and this feature is incorporated into the 5G network. With this, users can easily run high-end applications in the cloud without the presence of any lags.
AT&T® has proposed several projects using AR/VR, drones and autonomous cars developed in the edge computing test zone. The Telco has invited several developers and third parties to use their test zones for their individual projects. Moreover, AT&T® is also putting up a new offering that will aid in turning any of the concepts into prototypes.
Igal Elbaz, head of the AT&T® Foundry said, “Our goal in this experiment is to find the right architecture, the right services, and the right business value in this ecosystem. It’s all about moving quickly and collaborating closely with third-party innovators and developers.” Currently, the test area in Silicon Valley is spread across several miles and could extend in the coming years.